60-Second Tech

ATMs Branch Out

The newest electronic tellers come with built-in lie detectors, rely on biometric security and let you trade cash for gold. Larry Greenemeier reports

It's hard to remember a time before automated teller machines made our money available 24/7. And since the first networked ATM more than 40 years ago, banks have been trying to make their electronic tellers more secure and more versatile.

Russia's biggest retail bank is developing an ATM with a built-in lie detector that senses emotional stress in a customer's voice. In addition to withdrawals and deposits, this ATM might also approve you for a loan, provided you can keep your cool when its electronic voice interrogates you about your finances.

NCR Corp. is working on an ATM for illiterate populations in developing countries. This ATM uses a fingerprint biometric sensor for security and offers color-coded buttons for preset cash withdrawals.

If cash isn't your thing, there's a new type of teller machine that could be called the industry’s gold standard. The German-made GOLD to go ATM lets you use your debit card to withdraw gold bars and coins, weighing anywhere between one and 250 grams. Most of these ATMs are in Europe and the Middle East, but there is one in the U.S.—at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, of course.

—Larry Greenemeier

[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]

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